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Understanding simple and aggravated assault in New Jersey

When you hear the terms “simple assault” and “aggravated assault,” you might wonder what makes them different. Both are serious, but they vary in severity and consequences.

Simple assault

Simple assault in New Jersey is when someone tries to cause or causes minor injury to another person. It could happen during a fight where someone throws punches, but no one is seriously hurt. Even just threatening to harm someone can be simple assault if the person believes the threat. 

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault happens when someone causes or attempts to cause serious injury to another person. Using a weapon during an assault also makes it aggravated. For example, hitting someone with a bat or threatening someone with a knife can be aggravated assault. 

Factors that increase severity

Several factors can make an assault charge more severe. If the victim is a police officer, teacher, or another public servant, the charges might be more serious. The time and place of the assault can also affect the charge. For instance, an assault in a school zone can carry heavier penalties.

Legal consequences

The legal consequences for assault vary based on whether the assault is simple or aggravated. For simple assault, fines go up to $1,000, and jail time can be up to six months. 

Aggravated assault, being more severe, can lead to fines ranging from $10,000 to $105,000, with prison sentences ranging from 18 months to 10 years, depending on the degree of the charge.

Moving forward after an assault charge

Facing an assault charge can be stressful and confusing. Understanding the differences between simple and aggravated assault helps you grasp the potential consequences and prepare for what lies ahead. Remember, every case is unique, and the specific details can greatly influence the outcome.



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